From India with Love

Do you remember us telling you about Ghost – the rescue that never made it home?

Ghost went to Rainbow Bridge while they were trying to make her better at the vet hospital in New Delhi. We wept with such sorrow – for her not to have the chance of being loved and safe with her adopted parents. (Like Your Name, You’re Now A Spirit.)

It’s been six months since Ghost left her parents heartbroken. They had decided to leave Ghost’s ashes with her foster mother, Patricia who took care of her the last weeks she was in New Delhi leading up to her operation just before leaving to go to her forever home.

We have often wondered about her parents Jyothika and Iker. Two days ago Mum saw in her Inbox an email. She was nicely surprised and this was what Jyothika wrote:

“Last month, we adopted one of Ghost’s foster sisters. Her name was Lola before and we named her Laika.

Adopting another dog wasn’t really on our minds, but I had been following Lola’s story on Patricia’s (Ghost’s foster mom) rescue page for a few months, even before Ghost went to stay with Patricia and I was really glad that she was going to be adopted by a nice family in France. She seemed like such a sweet girl, so much like Ghost in terms of her temperament. But then Patricia put up a post saying that her adopters had changed their mind and were no longer able to adopt her. She already had her titre test done and was ready to fly. We thought about it for a while, and we eventually decided to give her a home. We realized that waiting for much longer wasn’t going to make any difference, we weren’t going to forget Ghost and we didn’t want to. She will always be our first dog. But the longer we wait, the longer another deserving dog has to go without a loving home. So we just decided to do it. It seemed fitting, we’d lost our dog and Laika had lost her family. So maybe it was meant to be, who knows.

After we decided to adopt her, finally, after a long wait, the first rose bloomed on Ghost’s tomb, in Patricia’s garden. She thought it was Ghost giving her blessing for the adoption. Another strange coincidence.

Patricia with Laika at the airport

We had decided that Laika would fly over sometime in May with Patricia’s friends, who were traveling to Amsterdam, and we found out that their flight date, the day we would meet Laika, 9th May, is Ghost’s birthday, according to her paperwork. It’s a bit crazy right?

Anyway, its almost been a month now since the day we picked her up from Amsterdam.

She was very nervous but she trusted us and was so good with us from the very beginning.

We took her to the hotel we were staying at in Amsterdam and she stayed there with us for one night and then we took a ferry to Newcastle the next evening. We got a dog friendly cabin so she stayed with us.

She is amazing, we are so happy that we have her in our lives. She is very gentle and calm, quite timid. But she’s slowly coming out of her shell.

She was so quiet initially, and we had been told that that’s her personality but now, after a month at home, she has started to become more cheeky and demanding!

She is still gentle and calm though and very easy to handle 🙂 We’ve started to take her out to the local pub and for walks in the neighbourhood, she loves to go out!

Also loves lounging on the sofa.

Hates being left behind and is now very vocal about it haha, although she didn’t care that much before. I guess she likes us a lot more now 🙂

Mum was in tears and had goose bumps reading about Laika. Bless Ghost. She will always be Jyothika and Iker’s first dog and she will live on in Laika too. I hope we will meet cheeky Laika some day soon.

May’s comment: Moved beyond words and my heart was bursting with happiness when I read Jyothika’s happy email.

This is Laika’s story – and probably the story of the many strays in India. They don’t get a chance till they have suffered.

Patricia has known Laika (or Lola) since she was born. She and her siblings were born in the parking lot of the company where Patricia’s husband Thierry works, in Delhi.

So they had been caring for the whole family on the streets. Patricia even took all the siblings and the mum to an animal shelter for spaying and they stayed there for a while in the hope that someone might adopt them, but that didn’t work out so they went back to the streets.

Patricia couldn’t keep them at home because they were all healthy dogs and she already had other sick/injured dogs to care for at home. Rescuers don’t usually take healthy dogs off the street because of lack of space, all space is reserved for dogs really in need of help.

Last year in October, Laika got hit by a reckless car driver and her femur bone on her back left leg snapped into two pieces – a horrible break! Patricia was away at the time but managed to get her some help and she had a surgery to join the bones back together.

She then stayed at a boarding facility for a while until Patricia returned. But unfortunately the implant didn’t work and she had to have a second surgery in November. For five months, she had the pins and plate but she got to stay at Patricia’s house, so that was good. The metalwork came out in April. After the bad accident and two surgeries, the bone is still very weak and she has lost all the muscle in that leg from not using it at all since October. But now she is starting to use it more and more. When she walks slowly, she walks on all four legs. She manages very well with three legs in general for everything else though. Patricia says that although she has spent two years in the street, she has always been a pet. Such a sweetheart, so easy going.

So she’s not from Peepal Farm (where Ghost was from), but Peepal Farm were really happy that we’re giving a dog a home. I hope we can adopt a dog from there someday, when Laika is ready for a sister or a brother. Also, we ended up using the spare money from Ghost’s fundraiser to adopt Laika. The vets from the clinic in Delhi didn’t take any money from us for Ghost’s surgery. We only had to pay for the orthopedic surgeon’s fees as he flew over from another city to do the surgery and the costs of some blood tests. We had also already paid for her titre test, her microchip, crate and travel from Peepal Farm to Delhi, but the vets didn’t charge us for anything, like the anesthesia, the operation theatre or for the other vets who assisted with the surgery. They also didn’t take money for her cremation. They would rather that we use the money to help another dog in need. How kind of them. So even though we’d spent some of the money for Ghost, we had some spare and we used that for Laika. So I hope that people who donated will be happy that at least we managed to save one dog.

At least one dog has found her forever home – and made Jyothika and Iker smile again. For all of you who gave to Ghost’s fund – we just wanted to give you an update. They have written in their Just Giving page – to let everyone know about a happy ending.

Read about Patricia’s Indian Street Dogs – their work with shelters and rehoming of strays in India.

This is in memory of Ghost.

Ghost, we know you are looking down at us and wagging your tail. You know you were loved by Jyo and Iker even though you have never physically met. You will always be their first dog – and because you had opened their heart, that’s why Laika is now with them.


  1. Belinda Scher

    Completely the circle of love and the strong bond that our beloved pets have – such a beautiful tribute to Ghost

  2. Kathy Shoulders

    What a beautiful story. I don’t believe in accidents. This was meant to be. I believe Ghost sent her to them. How awesome! Thank you for sharing it.

  3. Liz Burman

    What a beautiful story and what a beautiful dog Laika is. I’m sure Ghost is thrilled that she has found such great forever home.?

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